Defending Champions Germany defeated France 5-2 in fitting finale of the Hero Hockey Junior World Cup 2013 to defend their title successfully and to win the quadrennial event for record 6th time. Earlier in evening Netherlands beat Malaysia 7-2 to win bronze medal.
Player of the Tournament: Christopher Rühr (Germany)
Goal-keeper of the Tournament: Edgar Reynaud (France)
Top Scorer: Christopher Rühr (Germany), 9 goals
Goal of the Tournament: Jean-Laurent Kieffer (France), Argentina vs. France, 3rd French goal (48th minute)
Final Standings: 1. Germany, 2. France, 3. Netherlands, 4. Malaysia, 5. Australia, 6. Belgium, 7. New Zealand, 8. Korea, 9. Pakistan, 10. India, 11. Argentina, 12. South Africa, 13. Spain, 14. England, 15. Egypt, 16. Canada.
To the sweet surprise of hockey family, France reached the finals of the junior world cup by defeating American Champions (Argentina), European Champions (Belgium) and Asian Champions (Malaysia) on the way to their maiden appearance in the summit clash of the quadrennial event of Junior Hockey. The first timers were up against the giants Germany, who were looking for their 6th title.
Speaking on being the Champions yet again Germany Coach Andre Henning said “proud of this team and the feeling has no words. In the first half France was going very strong over, but the team was very mentally very strong and they came back in the second half giving no option to the opponents to make a comeback. This team was the youngest team in this tournament but in no ways did they look or played like a young team and this is good news for German hockey. Thanks to the spectators here who supported us all throughout the tournament and we go back with happy moment”.
Speaking on the silver medal, France Coach Gael Foulard said “Proud of this team as the players have showcased exceptional game of hockey all throughout the tournament. The boys could not deliver today and this was because of some silly mistakes in the second round. While we couldn’t win the title we are still happy to be the runners-up for the tournament”
France were supported by a large colony of singing fans, but Germany killed the suspense early when Niklas Wellen stole the ball in the French circle and slotted it past a surprised Edgar Reynaud in the second minute of play.
The French promptly settled their nerves and organized their game. They were working hard, keeping the Germans at bay and not hesitating to rush forward when they saw an opening. In the 16th minute, a quick exchange of passes found Gaspard Baumgarten alone at the top of the circle and he did not think twice to blast a shot past Victor Aly in the German goal, much to the vocal pleasure of the bleu-blanc-rouge crowd.
France suddenly became bolder, pushing temporarily the German defense on the back foot. A cross from Hugo Genestet eluded two German defenders but a rushing attacker could not put his stick on it for the deflection.
Germany forced their first penalty-corner of the match during a French yellow card but could not capitalize. They progressively regained the upper hand and France were under pressure at the end of the period, but half-time was reached with the two teams back to back with one goal each.
Germany came back with more purpose in their stride and play but, incredibly, France scored and took the lead on their first penalty-corner of the match in the 40th minute by Gaspard Baumgarten, his second goal of the game. This did not stand well with the Germans who forced a penalty-corner of their own in the next breath, but were denied by Edgar Reynaud, again in fine form in the French goal.
Germany came back on par in the 44th minute by Niklas Wellen, also his second of the match. He completed his hat-trick two minutes later to put Germany back on top. France however refused to capitulate and fought on every ball, holding the fort firmly until the 60 minute when Jonas Gomoll made the best of a confusing situation in the French circle to blast the ball past Reynaud.
Two goals down and a handful of minutes to go, France replaced their goal-keeper so that Corentin Saunier could have the experience of a World Cup final and the Germans scored another goal by top-scorer of the competition Christopher Rühr. Germany were soon hoisting the Junior World Cup, for the sixth time in the history of the event, after an exciting Final that was much closer that everybody was anticipating. France were certainly happy with their performance in this competition, enjoying their silver medals with their fans.